Chapter summary imageSchools provide many ways for an individual to learn the basics of socialization, including norms and values of a society.

What is Socialization?

the process that teaches the norms, values, and other aspects of a culture to new group members.

How do the Three Theoretical Paradigms View Socialization?


institutions, like religion and education, are useful in socializing individuals.

Conflict Theory:

societies use gender socialization to teach members how to express their femininity and masculinity.

Symbolic Interactionism:

total institutions are successful in resocializing people by altering their sense of self .

How Does Understanding Socialization Help Us Improve the Community?

through social policies that are designed to give equal opportunities to both genders.



  • socialization occurs when people internalize society and enact its norms, values, and roles
  • people who don’t internalize norms are stigmatized and labeled as “different”
  • people become socialized when they learn and accept what society expects of them

Conflict Theory

  • the “haves” and the “have-nots” are socialized differently and learn what society expects of them
  • children who come from middle- and upper-class backgrounds are more likely to participate in organized activities than some impoverished children who are unable to participate

Symbolic Interactionism

  • socialization is the major determinant of human nature
  • people develop their sense of self by incorporating how others interpret their behavior

Key Terms


is the process that teaches the norms, values, and other aspects of a culture to new group members.

Primary Socialization

is socialization that occurs during childhood.

Secondary Socialization

is the dynamic whereby socialization continues throughout our lives.

Nature Theory

states that the genes we get from our parents at conception are the primary causes of human behaviors.

Nurture Theory

states that our environment influences the way we think, feel, and behave.


means wild.

Looking-glass Self

is the theory that the self develops through a process of reflection, like a mirror.

“I” Self

is the subjective part of the self.

“Me” Self

is the objective part of the self.

Imitation Stage

is Mead’s first stage of development, which is the period from birth to about age 2, and is the stage at which children merely copy the behaviors of those around them.

Play Stage

is Mead’s second stage of development, which occurs aroundthe ages of 2–4 years, during which children play roles and begin to take on thecharacteristics of important people in theirworld.

Game Stage

is Mead’s third stage of development that never truly ends, and is the stage in which we begin to understand that others have expectations and demands placed upon them.

The Generalized Other

is our sense of others.

Psychosocial Crisis

is a crisis occurring during each of Erikson’s stages that will be resolvedeither positively or negatively, and each outcome will have an effect on our ability to deal with the next one.

Cognitive Development

is a person’s ability to think and reason.

Sensorimotor Stage

is the stage (birth to age 2 years) at which infants learn to experience and think about the world through their senses and motor skills.

Preoperational Stage

is the stage (ages 2 through 7 years) at which the ability to speak grows rapidly.

Concrete Operational Stage

is the stage (ages 7 through 12 years) at which children can think about objects in the world in more than one way and start to understand causal connections in their surroundings.

Formal Operational Stage

is the stage (ages12 years and above) at which people become able to comprehend abstract thought.


is seeking pleasure over pain.

Conventional Level

is the second stage of moral development that arises before puberty and uses the lens of norms and rules to determine what is right and wrong.

Postconventional Level

is the third stage of moral development that refers to a morality based on abstract principles.

Morality of Justice

is morality based on the rule of law.

Morality of Care

is morality decided by a standard of how best to help those who are in need.

Preconventional Level

is the first stage of moral development that lasts through elementary school years; at this level, children make their moral judgments within a framework of hedonistic principles.

Agents of Socialization

are the people and groups who shape our self-concept, beliefs, and behavior.

Authoritative Style

is a parenting style in which parents listen to their children’s input while con- sistently enforcing the preset rules.

Permissive Style

is a parenting style in which parents provide high levels of support but an inconsistent enforcement of rules.

Authoritarian Style

is a parenting style with which children experience high levels of social control but low levels of emotional support.


is the process of learning new norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors and abandoning old ones.

Total Institutions

are places in which the most effective forms of resocialization can occur because they isolate people from outside influences so they can be reformed and controlled.

Hidden Curriculum

refers to the lessons taught in school that are unrelated to academic learning.

Gender Socialization

teaches members of society how to express their masculinity or femininity.


is the expectations of behavior and atti- tude that a society considers proper for males and females.

Mass Media

include any print or electronic resource that is used to communicate to a wide audience.

Social Policies

are deliberate strategies designed to correct recognized social problems.

Title IX

is a 1972 educational amendment that prohibits the exclusion of any person from participation in an educational program on the basis of gender. standard of how best to help those who are in need.


1. How did Piaget describe the stage at which a child learns to speak?

2. What is the difference between authoritative style and authoritarian style parenting?

3. Why is resocialization important in total institutions?

4. Conflict theorists often argue that men use their power to dominate and limit women. Provide an example of gender bias in the media and explain how it supports this theory.

5. In the terms of Erikson’s theory, how was Genie’s development stunted?

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